How to Maintain Your Tattoos and Keep Them From Fading

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As tattoos become more popular, many people are wondering how to keep tattoos from fading. This article will provide tips and tricks for ensuring that your tattoo has a long-lasting finish and will look just as vibrant years from now as it did on the day you got it. We’ll discuss the importance of proper aftercare and provide advice on how to maintain the colors and lines of your tattoo for years to come.


Why Tattoos Fade

Why Tattoos Fade

  • Sun Exposure: UV rays from the sun can cause tattoos to fade more quickly than normal. Sunscreen should be applied whenever possible to help protect the ink.
  • Ink Quality: Some inks are of a lower quality and are more prone to fading. Higher quality inks will last longer and be less likely to fade.
  • Skin Type: Different skin types retain ink differently. Oily skin is more prone to fading, while dry skin holds on to ink more easily.
  • Touching & Scratching: Touching and scratching the tattoo can cause fading, as it rubs away the top layer of ink.
  • Age: With time, tattoos tend to fade naturally as the skin changes.

To prevent tattoos from fading too quickly, it’s important to take steps to protect them. This includes using sunscreen, choosing high quality inks, avoiding touching and scratching, and taking extra care of skin with oily or dry skin types. Additionally, proper aftercare can go a long way in preserving the color of your ink and keeping your tattoos looking dark for years to come.

Preparing for Tattoo

Preparing For Tattoo

  • Choose an artist with a good reputation: Look for an experienced artist with a portfolio of tattoos that you like.
  • Research the right type of tattoo ink: Research the type of ink used by the artist and make sure it is a high-quality, long-lasting option.
  • Stay hydrated: Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after getting a tattoo for better skin health.
  • Exfoliate regularly: Exfoliating your skin regularly can help keep your tattoo looking fresh and vibrant.
  • Avoid sun exposure: Sunlight can cause fading, so avoid exposing your tattoo to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time.
  • Moisturize daily: Regularly moisturizing your skin can help keep your tattoo looking fresh and vibrant.

By following these tips, you can ensure your tattoo lasts as long as possible and stay vibrant for years to come. With the right preparation and care, you can ensure that your tattoo will look its best and be a source of pride for years to come.

Aftercare Tips

Aftercare Tips

Clean with Mild Soap & Warm Water

After getting a tattoo, it is important to keep it clean. This can be done by washing it with mild soap and warm water two or three times a day. This will help to prevent any infection and keep the tattoo looking vibrant.

Keep the Tattoo Moisturized

To ensure that your tattoo looks its best for as long as possible, it is important to keep it moisturized. This can be done with a quality, fragrance-free lotion. It is important to apply the lotion after washing the tattoo to ensure that it stays moist and prevent it from fading.

Avoid Sun Exposure

The sun can be very damaging to tattoos, so it is important to keep them covered up when out in the sun. It is also important to use a high SPF sunscreen if the tattoo is exposed to the sun. This will help to keep the colors vibrant and prevent the tattoo from fading.

Follow the Aftercare Instructions

It is important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist. This will help to ensure that your tattoo looks its best for as long as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about how to keep your tattoo looking its best, it is best to consult with your tattoo artist.

By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your tattoo will remain vibrant and long-lasting. With proper care and maintenance, you can keep your tattoo looking great for years to come.

Avoid Touching and Scratching

Avoid Touching And Scratching

Tattoos are delicate and need to be handled with care to keep them looking their best. It’s best to avoid touching the tattoo to prevent introducing bacteria, oils, and dirt which can fade the ink. Additionally, scratching the tattoo can also cause the colors to fade. To ensure that your tattoo stays vibrant, take extra care not to scratch it or rub it.

If you need to apply moisturizer or an ointment to the tattoo, use your fingertips to gently dab it on the area. Avoid rubbing it in as this can cause the ink to fade. For best results, opt for an all-natural moisturizer or ointment specifically designed for tattoos to help keep your tattoo black and vibrant.

Wear Sunscreen

Wear Sunscreen

One of the best ways to ensure your tattoos remain vibrant and last longer is to wear sunscreen. UV rays from the sun can cause significant fading and discoloration to your tattoos, so make sure to wear a strong SPF 30 or higher whenever you’re in the sun. For added protection, wear clothing that covers your tattoo.

Protection Level
Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher
Clothing Tattoo should be covered

Sun damage can cause tattoos to lose their vibrancy, and it can even cause your ink to blur or stretch. To keep your tattoos vibrant, make sure you protect them from the sun’s rays.

What to Do if Your Tattoo is Fading

What To Do If Your Tattoo Is Fading


If your tattoo has started to fade, the best way to fix it is to get a retouch. This process involves adding more ink to the area that has started to lighten or become patchy. Retouching a tattoo is a common and straightforward procedure that can be done in just one visit to a tattoo artist.

Laser Removal

In some cases, a laser removal might be the best option if your tattoo has faded too much. Laser removal works by breaking down the pigment of a tattoo so that it fades away. Laser removal is a safe and effective way to remove a tattoo you no longer want, but it can be expensive and take multiple treatments over time.

No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to take steps to prevent your tattoo from fading in the first place. This can be done by following the tips and tricks outlined in this article. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your tattoo looking bright and vibrant for many years to come.

Tattoo Maintenance

1. Clean your Tattoo

  • Wash your tattoo with lukewarm water and mild soap as soon as you get it done.
  • Gently pat the area dry with a clean towel.
  • Avoid submerging your tattoo in water for long periods of time.
  • After swimming or showering, pat your tattoo dry and apply a thin layer of moisturizer.

2. Protect your Tattoo

  • Apply sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 on your tattoo whenever you head outdoors.
  • Reapply every two hours to keep your tattoo safe from the sun.
  • Cover your tattoo with clothing if you’re going to the beach or pool.
  • Avoid direct contact with household chemicals and soaps.

3. Take Care of Your Skin

  • Keep your skin moisturized to reduce itching and flaking.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Avoid smoking as it can reduce blood flow to your skin.

What to do if Tattoo is Fading?

  • Visit your tattoo artist and ask them to touch up your tattoo.
  • Avoid using harsh soaps and cleansers on your tattoo.
  • Use a high-quality moisturizer to keep your tattoo from drying out.
  • Wear sunscreen when you’re outdoors to protect your tattoo from the sun.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Most Important Steps to Take to Help Prevent Tattoos from Fading?

  • Protect your tattoo from the sun: Sun exposure can cause tattoos to fade over time, so you should always take measures to protect your tattoo from the sun by covering it up or wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin hydrated and helps prevent fading of your tattoo.
  • Avoid harsh soaps and chemicals: Harsh soaps and chemicals can strip the ink from your tattoo and cause it to fade, so it is important to use gentle soaps and avoid contact with chemicals.
  • Moisturize your tattoo: Keeping your tattoo moisturized is important for preventing fading. Use a non-scented moisturizer to keep your tattoo hydrated and prevent fading.
  • Visit your tattoo artist for touch-ups: It is important to visit your tattoo artist for regular touch-ups to keep your tattoo looking vibrant and prevent fading.

What kind of aftercare should I use to maintain the color of my tattoo?

  • Keep it Clean: It is important to keep your tattoo clean to prevent infection and fading. You should wash the area with lukewarm water and mild soap twice a day. Pat it dry with a clean towel or paper towel.
  • Avoid Sun Exposure: Exposure to the sun and tanning beds can cause your tattoo to fade. Apply a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 every time you go out in the sun.
  • Moisturize Regularly: Keeping your tattoo moisturized is essential to maintaining color and vibrancy. Use a gentle, unscented lotion or a specialized tattoo aftercare product.
  • Avoid Touching: Avoid picking, scratching, and touching your tattoo as much as possible. This could lead to infection and cause the ink to fade.
  • Visit Your Tattoo Artist: It is important to have your tattoo regularly checked by your artist. Your artist can make sure that the colors are still vibrant and that everything looks good.

Is there a Difference between Fading Prevention for New Tattoos and Existing Tattoos?

Yes, there is a difference between fading prevention for new tattoos and existing tattoos. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping both your new and existing tattoos from fading:

  • New Tattoos:
    • Keep them out of direct sunlight for the first four weeks.
    • Apply a thin layer of a non-scented, hypoallergenic lotion (or ointment) as directed by your tattoo artist.
    • Avoid swimming and soaking in hot tubs.
    • Avoid picking or scratching the tattooed area.
  • Existing Tattoos:
    • Avoid direct sunlight and apply SPF 50 sunscreen to the tattooed area.
    • Moisturize the tattooed area regularly, using a non-scented, hypoallergenic lotion.
    • Avoid swimming and soaking in hot tubs.
    • Avoid picking or scratching the tattooed area.

By following these tips and tricks, you can keep your tattoos looking vibrant and fresh for years to come.

How Often Should I Apply Sunscreen to My Tattoo?

It is important to apply sunscreen to your tattoo whenever you are going to be in direct sunlight. Sunscreen should be applied generously and often, at least every 2-3 hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating. Use a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 and make sure it is broad spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply sunscreen even on cloudy days, as the rays can still damage your tattoo.

What Types of Sunscreen are Best for Protecting Tattoos?

When it comes to protecting tattoos from fading, sunscreen is a must. However, not all sunscreens are created equal. To ensure maximum protection for your tattoos, look for the following features when choosing a sunscreen:

SPF 30 or Higher: SPF 30 or higher is recommended for protecting tattoos from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Broad Spectrum: To protect from both UVA and UVB rays, look for a sunscreen that is labeled “broad spectrum.”

Water Resistant: Water resistant sunscreen is best for tattoos, as it will stay on the skin even if you are swimming or sweating.

Fragrance Free: Fragrance free sunscreen is recommended for protecting tattoos, as fragrances can irritate the skin and cause reactions.

  • Mineral-Based Sunscreen
  • Chemical-Free Sunscreen
  • Non-Nano Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
  • Tattoo Safe Sunscreen

When it comes to protecting tattoos, sunscreen is key. Choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum protection, water resistance, and no fragrances for the best protection. Mineral-based, chemical-free, non-nano zinc oxide, and tattoo safe sunscreens are all great options for protecting tattoos from the sun.


In conclusion, to keep tattoos from fading and ensure a long-lasting ink, it is important to take good care of the skin, use only quality ink and supplies, keep the tattoo clean and moisturized, and avoid exposure to the sun and other sources of UV radiation. Following these tips and tricks will help maintain the vibrancy of the tattoo for years to come.


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